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Posts Tagged ‘boxcars’

The Sears Homes in Raleigh: A Big Event!

May 8th, 2012 Sears Homes 4 comments

Next Saturday (May 19th) , I’ll be giving a talk on Sears Homes in Raleigh. To my astonishment and delight, we’ve found an impressive number of kit homes in this part of North Carolina, including Sears, Harris Brothers, Lewis Homes, Montgomery Ward, Gordon Van Tine and more!

To see more photos of those houses, click here.

At the talk, I’ll be giving a PowerPoint presentation that contrasts and compares the extant Sears Homes with the archival images. It’s a whole lot of fun, and I promise, a good time will be had by all!

Wow, Id LOVE to hear this woman talk...

Wow, I'd LOVE to hear this talk! Oh wait, I will hear it. ;)

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The details.

The details.

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The Sears Crescent in 1928.

The Sears Crescent in 1928.

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The Sears Crescent in Raleigh! What a nobby house!

The Sears Crescent in Raleigh! What a nobby house!

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Come join the fun as we re-enact the loading of 12,000 pieces of kit home into a vinate 1924 boxcar. Bring your own leather gloves!

Come join the fun as we re-enact the loading of 12,000 pieces of kit home into a vintage 1924 boxcar. Bring your own leather gloves! (This activity is not recommended for those with pre-existing heart conditions and/or recent gallbladder surgery and/or chronic back pain and/or siderodromophobia. You must be at least 4'10" tall to participate, and be able to easily hoist 125-pound bundles of lumber. Prior to the boxcar event, you'll be required to watch a 17-minute video titled, "Lumber Loading, Liability, Litigation and You." All persons participating will be required to sign a 48-page waiver before being allowed to join the fun. Images shown above are stock photos and not necessarily representational of the specific event.

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The history of the Sears Modern Homes in our country is a fascinating piece of our American culture. Dont miss the talk on Saturday!

The story of Sears Homes is a fascinating chapter of our American history. Do you live in a Sears House? Come to our talk on Saturday and you'll learn HOW to identify kit homes!

To read more about the kit homes of Raleigh, click here.

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Ok, I made it all up about loading the boxcar. We’re not really loading any boxcars.

But it does sound like fun, doesn’t it?

And did you figure out what siderodromophobia means?

See you on Saturday (May 19th).

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The Niota: 1200 Square Feet For $942

April 12th, 2012 Sears Homes 1 comment

Not a bad deal to buy 1,200 square feet of kit house for less than $1,000, even in 1916!

The Sears Niota - despite its being a good value and a cute house - was not a popular model for Sears.  And yet, according to a small promotional ad that appeared in the 1916 catalog, the Niota had been built in Elmhurst, IN, Westerville, Ohio, Indianapolis, IN, Napleton, MN and Springfield, MO.

And in Wood River, Illinois, too.

The house was offered in StoneKote, which was Sears own stucco-type covering. As with most of the kit homes, buyers could opt for stucco, block, brick, stone or wood. Today, way too many of these homes are now covered with substitute sidings (such as aluminum or vinyl), which makes identification even more difficult.

To read more about the many Sears Homes in Wood River (and Amoco), click here.

Niota

One might hope that those columns are a unique feature to help in identifying the Sears Niota, and yet sometimes, they get removed (1916 catalog).

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Niota catalog 1916

The kitchen was so small you'd have to step out to the porch to change your mind. Lots of rooms on this first floor, and they're all pretty modest.

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niota fp

At least the bedrooms have closets. That's a plus.

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niota

Close-up of the Sears Niota.

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niota wood river

And here it is, in Wood River, Illinois. Notice that those unique columns have been chopped off at the roofline and also covered in that hideous house-hiding PVC material, known as "vinyl siding." The original columns - poking through the porch ceiling as they did - were probably prone to roof leaks and all manner of maintenance problems.

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Niota more

Niotas were built in several places in the Midwest. It'd be fun to see pictures of these Niotas.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To learn more about my Aunt Addie, click here.

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